By BRAD KEITH
(December 14, 2016) — With just under a minute to play and the game tied, second-year Dublin head coach Will Parker knew host Eastland would be keying on Lion stars Brady Moore and Rayce Jackson, especially after the tandem had already combined for 38 points.
But the Lions showed why they are a more complete team than Dublin has put on the court for years, with Parker taking a timeout and drawing up a play not for Moore or Jackson, but for third-leading scorer Gabe Garcia.
Eastland defended it well. Garcia delivered anyway.
“We set up a play for Gabe in the wing, but Eastland kind of jumped it and then double -teamed him right when he got the ball,” explained Parker. “Somehow Gabe got around the double team and found a way to the basket. He got us a big bucket when we needed it most.”
Eastland did get a last gasp of life when the Mavericks took possession with 10 seconds left, advancing the ball past half court and calling timeout with 3.5 seconds remaining.
“They tried to draw up something for their best player, but we denied him the ball and they had to go to someone else,” Parker said. “They missed a 3 to win it and we ended up on the good side of things.”
The good side of things is where Dublin has found itself throughout much of the early going this season, building an impressive 9-2 mark, their best start to a season since before the turn of the century.
“The way we play, it’s one of those things the guys really have to get used to. We had two full weeks of practice before our first game, and that helped, but the biggest things are our guys seeing they can wear teams down, and that it’s a team game,” Parker explained. “Brady and Rayce have been outstanding, so when teams key on them it just opens up the floor for other guys like Gabe, Josh (Hanes), Tim (Teten), Trask (Brown), Jeremiah (Martinez), I could go on and on. We’ve had so many different contributors at different times already this season. We really are showing that we understand it’s a team game, and we’re playing good team basketball.”
Moore netted 21 Tuesday and Jackson 17. Garcia finished with nine, Brown six, Hanes four, Brayden Burleson four and Elton Galbreath two.
Dublin visits Class A No. 1 Lipan on Friday. Tipoff is approximately 8 p.m. following a Lipan girls district contest.